More than just a number (Part 2): Making Administrative Memoranda discoverable

admin memo 4

The compulsory school age and entry into the Armed Forces


Back in January I wrote a post  about the work that we have been doing to improve the discoverability of items within our Official Publications collection. That post demonstrated how we used digitisation techniques to unlock the content of some of the Circulars produced by the Board of Education and the Ministry of Education.

You might be pleased to know that we have now completed an additional project with a  selection of Administrative Memoranda published by the Board of Education and the Ministry of Education between 1927 and 1958. Previously, most of these publications were held under one generic record on the Library Catalogue. Thanks to the efforts of Shanaz Durrant, our Archives and Collections Assistant here in the Library, we have now been able to create a much more detailed metadata record for each document. This has resulted in the creation of over 700 additional records on the catalogue containing the individual titles, numbers and publication date of a large amount of the Administrative Memoranda that we hold in the Official Publications collection.

Like Circulars, Administrative Memoranda vary enormously in terms of content, length, scope and format. It is hoped that their new found visibility in our catalogue will serve researchers well. Just to give you a sense of the material, why not visit IOE Library Search and type ‘Administrative Memoranda’ and then select the option to display the holdings available in the Library:

Admin Search

Making the content of this valuable resource visible on our discovery layer is only half of the story though. We have also completed a conservation project to ensure that these items are as accessible as possible for our users. Much of our collection of Memoranda had been bound in single volumes, many of which were in need of repair. Furthermore, our users often found it quite difficult to locate the documents they required within these bound volumes. We decided that the best course of action was to de-bind the volumes and place each individual document into protective polyester pockets, thus making the whole collection much more useable and secure.

admin memo 2 (2)

Interchange of Teachers with Overseas Countries


Written for the attention of Local Authorities, Governing Bodies and Schools, Administrative Memoranda are a rich resource, offering deep and sometimes surprising insights into the practical application of education policy in schools. The collection is held in our library stores and you can make a request to consult any items that interest you via IOE Library Search.

Find out more about our Official Publications Collection on LibGuides

About Dan O'Connor

Subject Liaison Librarian at the UCL Institute of Education Library
This entry was posted in History of Education, IOE Library Search, Library and Archives, Official Publications, Special Collections and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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